Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Anger as Anthony set for freedom

Casey Anthony was jailed for lying to police investigating the death of her daughter (AP)

US mother Casey Anthony, cleared of killing her two-year-old daughter in a trial that became a media sensation, will be released from prison in about a week after being sentenced on charges she lied to investigators.

Anthony, 25, was sentenced by a judge in Orlando, Florida, to four years for the four counts of lying to police, but she has already served nearly three years in jail and was given credit for good behaviour.

A court official said she will be released on Wednesday. Judge Belvin Perry also fined her 1,000 dollars (£6,200) on each count.

Inside the courtroom, before her sentence was announced, Anthony was animated, smiling and occasionally playing with her hair, which was let down for the first time since her trial began in late May.

Perhaps she thought, like many, that she would be freed as earlier. Her demeanour changed to stone-faced when she heard she would be spending more time in jail.

Her defence lawyers, who had been pressing for Anthony to be released immediately, argued before sentencing that her convictions should be combined into one, but the judge disagreed.

Anthony was convicted of lying to investigators about working at the Universal Studios theme park, about leaving her daughter with a non-existent nanny named Zanny, about leaving the girl with friends and about receiving a phone call from her.

The verdict in her trial - which generated an outpouring of anger among many Americans who had closely watched the highly publicised case - continued to be the talk of cable and network news after she was acquitted of first-degree murder on Tuesday.

The scene outside the court highlighted the strong public response. Amid increased police presence, a throng of protesters held signs that said "Arrest the Jury!!" and "Jurors 1-12 Guilty of Murder." Nearby, a handful of supporters also turned out, including a man who held a sign asking Anthony to marry him.

Prosecutors contended Anthony, then 22, suffocated Caylee with duct tape because she was interfering with the single mother's desire to be with her boyfriend and party with her friends.

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